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How to Blend Your Design Style Outside for a Cohesive Home

by DecorMatters|Jun 19, 2024
cohesive design indoor outdoor living space

Marieke Rijksen

Indoor and outdoor spaces serve distinct purposes to create a balanced home lifestyle. Inside areas provide privacy, comfort, security and weather protection, while the yard promotes good health and increases curb appeal. Despite these differences, everything should look and feel harmonious. Considering the home interior when contemplating front and outdoor decorating ideas matters to achieve cohesion.

A house without a cohesive design is like an entertainment resort with individual theme parks trying to appeal to various audiences. It works for Disney but translates into disharmony and drives down most homes’ values. Use these six tips to avoid any incongruity when decorating outdoor spaces.

Determine the House’s Aesthetic

modern indoor outdoor living space


The aesthetic is the property’s soul — the quality that makes it unique and special. It’s the product of the house’s architectural style and the owner’s personal preference. Identifying the aesthetic precedes everything because it’s challenging to reconcile inside and outside space designs without understanding the unifying force underpinning them.

This factor establishes redecoration rules, dictating what backyard decorating ideas are acceptable and sensible. It guides decision-making to keep the house from appearing inadvertently eclectic.

Say a modest person inherits a Queen Anne-style house. This new owner tones down its ornate decor and replaces the most flamboyant details with unassuming elements while leaving many defining features — such as irregularly shaped rooflines, prominent bay windows and unmistakable gables — alone.

Breaking tradition renders the house an extension of the owner’s self without keeping it a quintessentially Queen Anne property. The resulting aesthetic simultaneously evokes the inheritor’s taste and philosophy without causing the house to be significantly out of character.

The homeowner should take the same approach when reimagining the house’s landscape design. Going completely minimalist outdoors would create a jarring effect. The yard would feel like a different world — the opposite of cohesive design.

Continue the Indoor Color Palette

pink outdoor decorating ideas with pool

Samantha Klein

A well-thought-out color palette sets the house’s overall tone. Rooms function differently, so they can have their own character to achieve the kind of mood they aim for. The kitchen must appear hygienic to promote cleanliness, the dining area can feel energetic to stimulate appetites and the bathroom should feel calming to induce relaxation. However, their common hues tie them together.

Maintaining a similar degree of color combination outdoors can be challenging. Earth tones and shades of green are generally more apparent in outside areas because of the natural terrain and vegetation. Still, use the interior color palette’s dominant and secondary colors where possible.

Adopting the same hues risks creating a boring landscape design. Using shades lighter or darker outdoors is one of the neatest outdoor decorating ideas for blending inside and outside areas. It gives the yard its own personality without deviating from the house’s overarching visual theme.

Sustain a Noticeable Pattern

cohesive home design for outdoor indoor house

Dani Dazey

A cohesively designed house has a motif. It’s an element repeated throughout the house on purpose to allude to a theme — an idea the owner wants to convey explicitly or implicitly.

Motifs can be anything — abstract shapes, line arrangements, animals, plants, crops, initials, wordmarks, excerpts, emblems, religious symbols, caricatures, fictional characters, pop culture icons, hieroglyphics, celestial bodies, mythological beings and zodiac signs. They can manifest themselves in various forms, including:

  • Bathroom tiles
  • Blankets
  • Carpets
  • Framed newspaper clippings
  • Fridge magnets
  • Glass etchings
  • Kitchen hardware
  • Metal fabrications
  • Moldings
  • Paintings
  • Portraits
  • Rugs
  • Sculptures
  • Stained glass
  • Tapestries
  • Throw pillows
  • Wallpaper
  • Window coverings
  • Wood carvings

Incorporating a motif into the home design is an effective way to tell a narrative. It may suggest something close to the owner’s heart, like an interest, a beloved pet or a favorite story. A motif may also indicate the owner’s occupation, religion or fandom.

This pattern should remain evident outdoors to create rhythm and strongly establish the connection between the indoor and outdoor areas. A motif appearing on lawn art, walkways, planters, a grill, deck balustrades, tree house railings, pergola beams, garden flags, fire pit chairs, and as custom lighting fixtures are tried-and-true backyard decorating ideas. It makes a fantastic outdoor space focal point, serving as the mother of all the Easter eggs scattered throughout the house.

Reinforce Architecture

outdoor decor ideas using pergola in backyard

Annie Schlechter

Drawing inspiration from a house’s architectural style for an outbuilding’s design marries the indoors with the outdoors. For example, a gazebo with a green roof and living walls can beautifully accompany a sustainable residence screaming contemporary architecture. A detached garage made with half-timbering and adorned by decorative brickwork pays homage to a Tudor Revival house. A shed with a low-pitched clay tile roofing system is a natural companion to an Italian Renaissance property.

Remove Landscape Eyesores

hang a hammock for relaxing backyard decor idea

The Home Consultant

Highlighting the aesthetic similarities between indoor and outdoor spaces is as much about eliminating distractions and obstacles as it is about adding complementary visual elements. A patio door separating an orderly, logically designed home and an unkempt landscape is like a portal to a new dimension.

A yard revamp is necessary to bring any outdoor decorating ideas to life. Landscape redesign projects usually solve problems such as vegetation overgrowth, out-of-placed trees, unwanted sunny areas and uneven terrain. Although a backyard makeover is almost always messy and laborious, the job becomes more bearable with proper tools.

For instance, renting a tree spade makes relocating small plants to where they can provide shade to a finished area without compromising their roots and damaging foliage possible. Firing up a weed whacker can trim dense grass in no time. Leveling lumps with a shovel speeds up the flattening of moderately uneven land.

Repeat the Same Interior Pieces

outdoor living space design idea


Furnishing outdoor living spaces with similar furniture is a surefire way to highlight a house’s aesthetic inside and out. However, taking this route makes sense only when the interior pieces are versatile.

Using seats, tables or outdoor kitchen cabinetry susceptible to water damage is unwise. Instead, find weather-resistant versions of existing indoor furniture. For instance, buying synthetic rattan to echo the coastal decor on the patio works wonders. Manufactured material is usually waterproof, so it’s more suitable for outdoor use than its natural counterparts.

Boost Home Cohesiveness With Thoughtful Backyard Decorating Ideas

small patio decorating ideas using patterns and textures

Alicia Murphy

Reenvisioning the landscape to reflect a home’s interior aesthetic can be burdensome. Still, it’s worth the trouble. Everything is better when indoor and outdoor living areas agree with each other, so use these tips to lend more coherence to the overall home design.

Ready to bring these ideas to life and achieve a seamless blend of indoor and outdoor spaces? Download the DecorMatters app today! With our app, you can explore endless design inspirations, experiment with different styles, and visualize your perfect cohesive home right from your smartphone. Make your dream home a reality—download DecorMatters now and start designing!

This article was written exclusively for DecorMatters by Evelyn Long. Evelyn is a writer passionate about simplifying interior design for homeowners and renters alike. She is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Renovated Magazine where she shares her expertise on interiors.

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